Sure, I’ve always dug Steve Cropper… his guitar playing. Ever since the first Booker T. record. I heard that back in the Midwest. Yeah, everybody was playing like him.
~Bob Dylan (to Jann Wenner, 29 Nov. 1969)
Memphis is in a very lucky position on the map. Everything just gravitated to Memphis for years.
Booker T & The MG’s – Green Onions:
Continue reading October 21: Steve Cropper was born in 1941
September 23: Isaac Hayes released Hot Buttered Soul in 1969
This is one of my favorite soul albums ( I should do a post with a top 20 list…). It defines a new kind of soul at the end of the 60s into the 70s. It showed the way soul music would be heading in the next decade. This is intense soul, very skilled both vocally and musically.
Hot Buttered Soul is Isaac Hayes’ second studio album. Released September 23, 1969, it is a landmark in soul music.
Continue reading September 23: Isaac Hayes released Hot Buttered Soul in 1969
September 9: Otis Redding was born in 1941
Otis Redding was soul, but Otis Redding was country, too. That was a point on which he always insisted, and that was the way others saw him. His strength was his simplicity, even if the simplicity was hard-won. The basis for his music was sincerity, not spectacular showmanship; he was at heart a stand-up singer whose power came from his ability to inspire…
Check out: Robbie Robertson: The night Bob Dylan offered Otis Redding to record Just Like a Woman
Sitting on the dock of the bay:
Continue reading September 9: Otis Redding was born in 1941
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.. a workmanlike singer and a very accomplished songwriter, who showed occasional flashes of brilliance.
~The Rough Guide to Soul and R&B
“…I’d had nothing directly to do with Motown while I’d been in Detroit, I’d still been around a lotta their artists and seen from a distance how they did things. And so, when I eventually got to Memphis, I could see that it was pretty much the SAME – you know, musicians getting together producing music, with everybody in the same groove… So yeah, working at Stax was very easy, because everybody was open-minded. You know, Al and I first met (legendary MGs guitarist) Steve Cropper at the same time we met Jim Stewart. So what would happen is, Cropper and I would more or less go off to the hotel, sit down and talk about music – and BOOM, almost immediately we’d WRITE something! While Al Bell and Jim Stewart would go off and talk about music and BUSINESS… So yeah, that’s the way it started – and it just moved on from THERE! I later went on to write with Booker T., which was great too. You know, Stax was all about TEAM-work. Like if an artist was recording and needing backing singers, I’d go and sing on THEIR record, and in turn they’d sing on MINE! That’s just the way we DID things.”
– Eddie Floyd (Blues&Soul.com, issue 1067)
Raise Your Hand – Live in Oslo 1967:
Continue reading June 25: Eddie Floyd is 79 Happy Birthday
June 12: Chips Moman was born in 1937
Chips Moman, now semi-retired and living in LaGrange, Ga., still writes songs occasionally. “I write ’em,” he says, “but I just leave ’em laying there.” (- The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, 2008)
One of the most important characters in the Memphis music scene in the 60’s. Chips Moman helped start Stax Records, then American Sound Studios, which cut 122 chart hits from 1967 to 1972 — an unparalleled achievement.
Lincoln Wayne “Chips” Moman (born, June 12, 1937 La Grange, Georgia, United States) is an American record producer, guitarist, and songwriter. As a record producer, Moman is known for recording Elvis Presley, Bobby Womack, Carla Thomas, and Merrilee Rush, as well as guiding the career of the Box Tops in Memphis, Tennessee during the 1960s. As a songwriter, he is responsible for standards associated with Aretha Franklin, James Carr, Waylon Jennings, and B. J. Thomas. He has been a session guitarist for Franklin and other musicians.
Continue reading June 12: Chips Moman was born in 1937